2011 was just another warm year, according to NASA climate scientists.
According to an annual analysis of global temperatures released earlier this week by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the planet’s average temperature was nearly one degree warmer in 2011 than it was in the middle of the 20th century.
“We know the planet is absorbing more energy than it is emitting,” said GISS director James Hansen in a press release. “So we are continuing to see a trend toward higher temperatures. Even with the cooling effects of a strong La Niña influence and low solar activity for the past several years, 2011 was one of the ten warmest years on record.”
The announcement comes as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) noted that recent research by its scientists show that 2011 hosted more extreme weather events than most.
According to NOAA scientists, 2011 was a record-breaking year for climate extremes, as much of the United States faced historic levels of heat, precipitation, flooding and severe weather, while La Niña events at both ends of the year impacted weather patterns at home and around the world.
NOAA’s annual analysis of U.S. and global conditions, conducted by scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, reports that the average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 53.8 degrees F, 1.0 degree F above the 20th century average, making it the 23rd warmest year on record. Precipitation across the nation averaged near normal, masking record-breaking extremes in both drought and precipitation.